AT&T Has a New Plan to Fight Spam and it Includes More Company Logos





AT&T is cracking down on spam calls by letting companies use their logos to ensure the calls are legitimate.

The new display is powered by Neustar and prominently shows a company’s brand name and logo on the receiver’s phone. The TruContact Branded Call Display is an optional program companies can use to verify their information. Doing so may help connect with customers as they will know for certain who placed the call and that the number hasn’t been illegally obtained or spoofed. AT&T is working with credit reporting agency TransUnion to roll out the feature.

This is a change for AT&T customers, who previously had to install special apps such as Ytel or Regal on their phones to see a caller’s brand logo on incoming calls. The TruContact Branded Call Display is verified by the Federal Communications Commission’s Secure Telephone Identity Revisited and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (STIR/SHAKEN) protocol, a standard used to confirm that a number has not been illegally spoofed before reaching consumers.

“We’re obsessed with giving our customers secure and trusted calls, so we’re excited to work with TransUnion for a richer, more helpful visual experience,” said Erin Scarborough, senior vice president of mass markets product management at AT&T. “And since we use STIR/SHAKEN verification, our customers will be able to connect with greater confidence to the brands they may want or need to connect with.”

AT&T customers don’t need to do anything. Logos will appear on incoming calls from participating businesses and organizations. On Android devices, the logo appears when the phone rings and on the call details page if a call is missed. Other operating systems will display the logo if the phone is unlocked or facial recognition is engaged. 

A survey conducted by TransUnion last November showed that 73% of consumers don’t answer calls from unknown numbers because they assume it’s a robocall trying to sell something. Another 73% responded they declined to answer calls due to safety and fraud concerns, only to learn afterward it was a legitimate call. About 58% of respondents said they declined to answer important calls in the past three months because they didn’t recognize the caller and erred on the side of caution.

However, 76% said they would likely answer calls from businesses if the company’s brand name and logo were displayed, and 57% said verifying the call had not been spoofed is a top feature. 

TransUnion said the TruContact Branded Call Display can increase call rates by up to 56% by adding context to calls.

“We have delivered Caller ID for landlines, evolved to the first generation of branded calling, and now we’ve set the stage for Branded Calls Display logos,” said James Garvert, senior vice president at TransUnion and general manager of TruContact Communications Solutions. “This is helping restore trust in the phone to protect enterprises and consumers alike.”

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